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NEWS STORIES

Pushing for springSubmitted: 04/14/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Pushing for spring
RHINELANDER - The snow can't stop some people from preparing for spring.

Despite the weather, some local hardware stores have more customers buying spring products like flowers.

Some stores are pushing spring items because they want to help their customers move on from winter.

"We're into spring. We're getting ready for summer. Despite what it may look like outside, we're pushing to get the spirit of warmth," said Don Pelkowski, an employee at Rhinelander Home Depot.

Some stores have already sold out of vegetable plants.

They believe people are excited to start gardening because they're sick of the cold.

Even though there is snow on the ground, not many people have been coming in for snow supplies.

Some stores don't have any more winter supplies in stock.

"We haven't has any shovels or roof rakes in about a month and a half. We have about a half dozen bags of winter salt left and we have one snow blower that was returned to us. Other than that, our winter stuff is pretty well gone," said Pelkowski.

Employees expect more people to buy spring plants when their next shipment comes in.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.

Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.

For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.

This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.

"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."

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NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer.
Those same attractions get some people to stay here.
Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin.
A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady. 

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MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.

According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.

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WISCONSIN - A central Wisconsin state representative believes smaller communities in Wisconsin should not be treated as a welcome center for sex offenders, particularly sexual violent ones.

Democrat State Representative Katrina Shankland voted for a motion in the state budget to keep sex offenders in their original counties where the crimes took place.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September because it go rid of the rule that keeps offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

Shankland is trying once again to keep these offenders in their original home counties with a budget amendment that has already passed the assembly.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September to keep offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

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MILWAUKEE - A Wausau-based company that makes architectural metal finishing took home a big honor Thursday night.  Linetec won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Large Company category.

The annual awards program celebrates Wisconsin companies that are well respected, serve their communities, and make Wisconsin "a better place to live, work, and play", according to a press release from the WMC.

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WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week.
Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.

According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.

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STELLA - A cat died in a house fire in Stella Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the call around 1:30 p.m., several miles east of Rhinelander.

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